Premature Elaboration

Adam Callender
2 min readNov 6, 2021


Photo credit: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Premature Elaboration and a Potential Cure

It is easy to talk too much, to make assumptions, to lack curiosity about those that we are speaking with.

Often assuming that everyone is fascinated by what we want to say. A Shakespearean monologue, a soliloquy, springs to mind.

I have always been fond of a chat, coaching in the last five years has helped me a lot.

Once you’re on a roll, it’s very easy to not notice that you’ve worn out your welcome. You may not even realize that the other person is politely trying to get a word in, or subtly signaling that they need to be elsewhere (possibly, anywhere else if you have been really boring). Mark Goulston

To talk about the solution that we want to share before we understand the situation.

We might start off okay, but keep going and we can struggle, as Goulston reminds us:

  1. Beginning — we start off as being relevant and concise,
  2. Continuing — enjoying the self-expression, we stop worrying about our audience and get into our verbal stride.
  3. Oblivion — tangents have taken us away, talking to ourselves, practically unaware of others.

The situation was once described to be as the person having two mouths and one ear, rather than the usual arrangement.

Often connected with a loss of or low empathy — not caring about how the other person is faring with the conversation.

In its worst form, it can be found in Mansplaining. It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does. Merriam Webster

A vaccine can take the form of:

Active Listening, where paying close attention can assist us, however this relies on the other person(s) having an opportunity to speak.

A Question & Answer approach, I have been trialling this with Leaders that I work with, instead of Business As Usual, simply ask questions and invite quests for us to answer succinctly. Perhaps asking others present if they would like to answer first.



Adam Callender

Sydney based, Adam coaches and mentors career professionals, leaders and business owners. He is fascinated by humans, motorsport, mountain bikes and technology.